Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Barons Hand Texas Stars Seventh Straight Loss

Overtime contest sets new record for franchise losing streak

Mike Dalhuisen squares off with Kale Kessy (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Everything seemed to be going swimmingly with just ten minutes left in the Texas Stars contest against the Barons tonight. Texas was looking to break up a six game losing skid and was in good position to do so, leading 2-0 on the Barons with nine minutes left.

Coach Laxdal did not mince words postgame after the Stars allowed three unanswered goals, lost 3-2 in overtime, and stretched their losing streak to a franchise-worst seven games.

"We get up 2-0 in our building we have to be able to seal the game."

Laxdal was happy with the effort from his veteran netminder and the two forwards who scored but had no problem calling out some of the players who are not finding the scoresheet early on in this season. Bottom six scoring continues to be a problem as the top five scorers have more than half the club's goals.

"Let's be honest," said Laxdal. "We aren't a high offense team. When we get a high quality scoring chance, we have to make sure they count."

Though Texas should never have gotten to overtime after leading by two, Laxdal did note that the game-winning goal by Jordan Oesterle was a "distinct kicking motion" after he reviewed it on video. He added, "It should have been a disallowed goal. Obviously they didn't review it, and we can't do anything about it now."

Captain Maxime Fortunus, who played his 650th AHL game tonight, commented, "It's one of those plays where when you're in a slump things will happen in a game. Playing good in a game is not good enough. We have to be sharp for 60 minutes. It's being mentally ready. A lot of times in a slump you play to avoid making mistakes."

Texas had chances to open the scoring in the first period but could not capitalize on multiple power plays. Coach laxdal called out his power play unit after the game for being unwilling to adapt to his systems:

"[I'm] happy with the penalty killing and disappointed with the power play. We have a group of players that want to stick to the same system, and they don't want to be willing to try anything else. We have to be open to have a different look on the power play. We had some shots tonight, but teams are going to pre-scout you and we have to be willing to make the adjustment."

The Stars appeared ready in the second period as they outshot the Barons 17-9 in the frame and opened the scoring on a beautiful goal by Justin Dowling. The center swooped in left to right across a crowded slot and did a toe-drag backhand against the grain on Brossoit for the 1-0 lead.

In the third, Travis Morin scored his team-leading eighth off a brilliant pass from Brendan Ranford. The young winger was crushed on the boards but still managed to get the puck away to Morin, who beat Brossoit glove-side high.

Within a few minutes, the score was tied. Andrew Miller scored on a cram play at the net to make it 2-1. Then Iiro Pakrinen beat Rynnas on a far post shot that chipped the paint and made it 2-2.

The overtime goal was a fluky one as Jordan Oesterle got credit for the shot that slipped by the left pad of Rynnas with just under three minutes left in the OT frame.

Texas drops below .500 for the first time this season and will face this same Barons squad on Friday.

Tonight's lines:
Glennie-Dowling-Stransky
McKenzie-Morin-Ranford
Henderson-Faksa-Rallo
Hulak-Smith-Dalhuisen

Gaunce-Fortunus
Wrenn-Valentine
Honka-Meech

Rynnas

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
McKenzie, Jokipakka (call up)
Root, Troock, Karlsson (scratched)
Ritchie (lower body)

Coach Laxdal on using Mike Dalhuisen, a defenseman, at forward: "You have to earn your ice time, and we feel Dalhuisen has. He brings a physical presence and spark there."

Tonight's attendance was 5,187.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Oklahoma City - November 26 2014

2 comments:

  1. So what did Willie do to make these players buy into his working PP system, and what is Laxdall doing that makes the players not buy into his? Obviously, if it's not broken, don't fix it, but that was not the same PP as last year. No one was in front of the net waiting to tip in a shot from the point.
    The second period was of the quality we came to expect from last year. The third was pathetic. There is no reason they had to spend so much time in their own zone.
    Something needs to change.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We don't have the same players as last year but we have enough of them to expect more. In his interview Laxdal said we aren't an offensive team. I have to wonder about that. We still have last years AHL leading scorer and the Rookie of the Year who is an offensive player. What we lost more than anything is defense. So what does that make us. It's really hard to like the path it looks like this team is headed down. Let's hope they get it fixed. There is no reason this team should be in it's franchise longest losing streak. Here on out it's on the coaching staff.

    ReplyDelete

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